Warning: This post contains spoilers from Monday night’s Arrow midseason finale. Read at your own risk!
Arrow has pulled off another surprise that we all should’ve seen coming.
“Unmasked,” season 7’s midseason finale and the strongest episode of the season, revealed that the new Green Arrow is none other than Emiko Queen (played by Sea Shimooka), Robert Queen’s secret daughter and Oliver’s half-sister. The installment began teasing this reveal from the first scene, which showed Emiko working out before throwing on the new Green Arrow costume. At this point, we didn’t know her name or relationship to Oliver; however, the scene purposefully and effectively evoked season 1’s ab-filled training montages and thus primed us for the episode’s final scene in which Emiko visits Robert’s grave and refers to him as dad while talking about how similar she and Oliver are. As was the case in “The Demon,” this surprise should’ve been evident. I mean, the season premiere ended with crossing names out of a book that looked like the one Oliver got from his deceased father way back when.
Of course, this big reveal raises questions: What does she want? Where has she been all this time? If she hasn’t been in Star City, why does she care about saving it? Also, is secret love child the soapiest CW reveal the show has pulled off in a while? Even though I have several questions about Emiko’s, well, everything (which I’ll get to momentarily) I am excited about her being introduced because she is one of my favorite characters from the Green Arrow mythos.
For the uninitiated, the character of Emiko is a relatively new addition to the DC Comics universe, as she was first introduced during Jeff Lemire’s run on Green Arrow in DC’s New 52 era. In the comics, she’s the result of an affair that Robert Queen had with Shado while he was part of a mystical secret society called The Outsiders; however, Robert’s enemy Simon Lacroix, a.k.a. Komodo (who has also appeared on Arrow) kidnapped her, raised her, and turned her against the Queen family. The first time Oliver meets his half-sister, she’s trying to kill him. They eventually work past that and she becomes Oliver’s sidekick, but the personality she developed under Komodo remains. Even though she’s barely a teenager in the comics, she’s a formidable archer and fighter, disciplined, and murderous. Her dynamic with Oliver in the comics is hilarious because she’s constantly owning him and really wants to be the Green Arrow, as you can see in the panel below from Green Arrow #32. (ASIDE: Before the season started, I suggested everyone read Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino’s Green Arrow run to prepare for season 7, and I’m glad my instincts turned out to be right. END ASIDE)
Arrow is already putting its own spin on the character. For one, the show’s version of Emiko is much older than her comic book counterpart. Secondly, she can’t be Robert and Shado’s love child because Robert died before Shado was introduced, and more importantly, it’s Oliver who had a romantic relationship with the now deceased Shado on the show. Clearly, sticking too close to Emiko’s comic book origins would lead to some weird stuff. Whoever her mother is, though, it makes sense that Robert would have a secret child. The show established fairly early on that Robert was unfaithful (remember his affair with Summer Glau’s Isabel Rochev) and had many secrets beyond his role in the Undertaking (as was revealed toward the end of season 5). Based on her one scene of dialogue with Robert’s headstone, it’s clear that she’s just as disciplined and trained, and looks down on her half-brother somewhat. Furthermore, we know she’s very skilled with a bow and arrow and must have had specific training, which raises some questions.
To be fair, Arrow actually doesn’t give us too much information about Emiko in this episode — the script doesn’t even reveal her name — so it’s too soon to make too many judgments about how effective this new addition, and even Shimooka’s performance, will be. (She does know how to workout!). I do find interesting, though, that the writers felt it was necessary to give Oliver another sister after writing off Willia Holland’s Thea last season (I’m still not over it).
NEXT: Let’s talk about the other 90% of the episode